Josh Hart Not With Pelicans On Trip To Canada Due To Contact Tracing Issue | pelicans
The New Orleans Pelicans will miss one of their most versatile players in Sunday’s game north of the border.
Josh Hart is unavailable against the Toronto Raptors. He did not make the trip to Canada due to a problem finding contracts, sources told The Times-Picayune.
Hart has not been enshrined in NBA health and safety protocols, a team spokesperson said.
Before traveling to Canada, each member of the Pelicans traveling party was required to take a PCR test. Hart came back negative.
Hart is averaging 12.9 points and 4.4 assists this season, career highs in both categories, to go along with 7.4 rebounds. Pelicans coach Willie Green moved him to a more on-ball role, a change that has been central to Hart’s increased production.
“Honestly, it’s mostly Willie, who just gives me the green light to go out there and play the game like I’ve always played it all my life,” Hart said recently. “There are even times in the game where he yells at guys. to give me the ball on a rebound. When your coach has confidence in you, that is a great thing. It kind of gives you the freedom to go out there and play the game. “
The sight of Hart grabbing a defensive rebound, taking the ball down the length of the floor and converting a layup into a transition has become commonplace. Hart is averaging 3.8 points of quick braking, tied for fifth in the NBA.
Hart shoots less than 3 points and attacks the rim more this year compared to his first four years in the NBA. More than half of its placement attempts (51%) occurred within 4 feet of the basket, according to Cleaning the Glass. It converts 70% of its shots from this range, a stellar mark for a 6-foot-5 wing.
“I think Josh, first of all, he’s extremely brilliant,” Green said after practice on Friday. “He’s a competitor. He’s always been that way. We get to see him at his best. I still think he has room to go higher, and that will come. Right now we let’s see Josh compete at an all time high. ”
Hart has scored in double digits in 12 straight games. He had 14 points, six rebounds and two assists in Thursday’s win over the Golden State Warriors.
At the end of November, Green began creating a five-person unit made up of Devonte ‘Graham, Hart, Brandon Ingram, Herb Jones and Jonas Valanciunas. The Pelicans are 8-5 with this starting lineup on the pitch.
Since starting the season 3-16, the Pelicans are 11-9. They are 1.5 games away from 10th place in the Western Conference, the lowest place they could finish and still make their conference’s season-end tournament.